More Than 300 To Walk At Commencement

Commencement PhotoGayle Beebe presides over his first Commencement at Westmont as president of the college Saturday, May 3, at 10 a.m. President emeritus David K. Winter formally introduced Beebe to the college at last year’s service. The registrar’s office reports 310 students will be participating in the ceremonies, 109 graduating with honors.

David Gyertson, professor of leadership formation and renewal at Regent University in Virginia City, Va., will give the Commencement address, “The Challenge of Great Opportunities.” Gyertson, a senior fellow of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, is past president at Taylor University (Indiana), Asbury College (Kentucky) and Regent University where he now teaches.

Beebe presents this year’s Westmont Medals to Christine and Robert Emmons, well known for their philanthropy and leadership in Santa Barbara. Together they have received the United Way Abercrombie Award for Community Excellence and the Santa Barbara News-Press Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Westmont Medal is given each year to recognize individuals in our community whose lives embody the very principles associated with the Christian character of the college: integrity, service, compassion, responsibility, faithfulness, discipline and generosity.

Robert is a managing partner of Emmons Capital, an investment partnership, and has previously served as chairman and CEO of Smart & Final Inc. He is also an accomplished author and poet with seven books to his credit, including the critically acclaimed “Other Places Other Times” and “The Road to Paradise.”

Christine, a graduate of USC’s Marshall School of Business, was vice president of MacDonald Krieger & Boyer in Beverly Hills. She served as chairperson of the local chapter of Ninety-Nines Inc., an international women’s pilot organization, and she co-founded the Aviation Scholarship Fund for women pilots.

Past recipients of the Westmont Medal include Ardis Higgins, Lord Paul and Lady Leslie Ridley Tree, Larry Crandell, Penny Jenkins, Dr. Ramon Vidauri of Ensenada, Mexico, Anita Mackey, Stewart and Katherine Abercrombie, Betty Rosness, Peter MacDougall, Gerd Jordano, Robert Bryant and David Spainhour.

Monroe Scholars Zachary Landrum, Joshua Nunziato and Cora Rose graduate this year after earning full-tuition scholarships for academic excellence.